In recent years, Bulgaria has become an increasingly popular IT destination for global tech leaders looking to scale up internationally. Companies like VMware, Progress, SAP, Uber, SUSE and others of that caliber not only set up offices in the country but also significantly grew their local R&D teams over the years. There’s a mix of several factors that we usually hear when asking what are Bulgaria’s competitive advantages – great pool of engineering talent, cost-effectiveness, excellent location – just a couple of hours away from all important hubs in Europe, favorable taxation, emerging startup ecosystem..
Once the decision is made, the first most important step for virtually any business is hiring the right people for the new team. This poses several interesting challenges: How do you position your employer brand in a new market? How do you reach people with the same values as your organization? In general, how do you go about recruiting the best programmers, product managers, and digital specialists?
Well, you have to go to the places where tech people are already spending their time.
Growing with the local tech community
Started back in 2016, DEV.BG has since turned into a community of over 20, 000 IT professionals, becoming an entry point for almost every tech company expanding in Bulgaria. Its specialized job board is currently home to over 5000 active listings, more than on any other job board in the country and is visited by a big fraction of the tech community. The secret behind this success lies in the fact that DEV.BG has been able to stay very close to both candidates and employers.
On the one hand, with about 170 tech events organized per year and numerous user groups dedicated to everything from machine learning through DevOps to IT project management, DEV.BG has managed to grow a significant network of developers while establishing itself as a source of useful, educational content. Engineers and product people can meet IT leaders and get up to speed with the latest industry trends. Since the switch to an online format because of the pandemic, these events have actually started attracting even more attendees than before.
The whole employer branding package
On the other side of the spectrum, employers have a full range of services to support them on their hiring journey. Going onto the DEV.BG platform, every company can create a well-looking profile that integrates everything a job candidate may look for – culture, team, technologies, market traction, way of working, and so on. With various options for positioning with content marketing, ad campaigns, and their own custom IT events, it becomes easier for businesses to stand out and grab the attention of IT job seekers.
According to DEV.BG founder and CEO Ivaylo Hristov, the company is perceived as a job board platform, but it’s much more than that. “We are helping companies with their employer branding and visibility among the tech community in Bulgaria, which is a very important part of any hiring strategy. The visibility in front of the community is even more important for non-Bulgarian companies that are just entering the Bulgarian market,” he shares.
This statement is backed by numerous of the biggest tech employers that have been growing their teams in the country. “As a leading software company, we at Software AG are investing a lot in our employees and also in the IT community in Bulgaria. As one of our partners, DEV.BG’s team use their various employer branding tools to help us share externally the value of what we do and the reasoning behind why we do it. This way they support us in our effort to be a company where people would prefer to develop their careers,” states Miroslava Tsoneva, Events and Communications Specialist, who is leading the employer branding activities of Software AG in Bulgaria.
“Together with DEV.BG we managed to choose the best possible way to promote our brand. Thanks to their platform we have reached literally thousands of people on our way to impose our brand as an employer of choice,” says Svetla Dobreva, responsible for Marketing and Communications at DXC Technology Bulgaria.
“Over the years DEV.BG has established itself as an organization that takes care of the development of IT people – both professional development and personal development. These are values that completely coincide with the values of our own company. Thus, DEV.BG became the natural choice for a partner to help us tell the company’s story to the local community,” says Emil Tabakov, Senior Product Manager at Coursera.
From Uber Engineering Sofia share: “For us at Uber, it’s important to be able to share the knowledge we have and to learn from those in our community. We are glad to have the opportunity to be partners of DEV.BG and support them, given our common goal to co-create a culture of sharing in our ecosystem.”